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The Local Guide for Active Urban Families


in the city

mom Ronnie Negus westcoast

july/august 2012 summer fun | readers’ choice

July/August 2012


families westcoast


• summer fun & adventure • family real estate & design


top story

summer fun

fun events & festivals on our cover...

Real housewife, and real mom, Ronnie Negus enjoys a summer tea party complete with bubbles and her daughters Remy and Charley. Photographed by Revival Arts |

Travel Family Road Trip Washington State

Summer Fun Freshwater Fun Local Swimming Holes

Summer Fun Festivals, Fun Events & Fantastic Attractions

Summer Fun Free Things to Do This Summer





Family Real Estate & Design House Pricing Comparisons

Family Real Estate & Design Geekolgy: Web Resources

Family Real Estate & Design Downsizing for Seniors

I’m Raising My Family With Another Family





24 mom westcoast

24 WCM Profile Adventure Intervention 25 WCM Profile Real Housewife, Real Mom, Ronnie Negus & BCCFA 27 WCM Events

from the editor 6 Publisher’s Note 7 Contests 7 Readers Choice Awards 8 WestCoast Finds 9 Cool Design Finds 23 WCF News 28 Community Calendar 30 Last Look It’s Foamtastic!

next issue september Back to School! consignment store shopping


July/August 2012


publisher’s note


ummer has finally arrived on the West Coast and it couldn’t make us happier. This amazing place we all call home is full of great things to do all year round, but when the sun comes out and the air is warm, it really shines.

School may be out, but you don’t have to worry a bit about what to do with your kids. This issue of WestCoast Families is chock full of great things to do as a family: events & festivals, travel ideas, and attractions that are completely FREE! We had the opportunity to meet two great Moms for this issue, including Larissa, who won the WildPlay Adventure Intervention from our spring issue. We introduce you to Larissa and her good friend who nominated her, and how this great adventure put a well-deserved smile on her face. The other amazing Mom is one that you all may now be familiar with. She’s the talk of the town, and has been appearing on TV’s across the country for months. We spent an afternoon with Ronnie Negus and her family to see what this lovely lady was all about, without the cameras rolling. You may be surprised to hear that reality TV is not always, well, “real”! In talking to our readers, we discovered that many parents are rethinking their homes too. As house prices skyrocket in Vancouver, other areas become attractive to make home buying more affordable. In this issue, we’ve brought you some great information on real estate for families all over the Lower Mainland, including average prices, considerations for elderly parents, and great online resources to help guide you. We also had a little fun showcasing home design products and fun websites to dream and shop. Summer is a time to relax, enjoy, and take in the warm air. And while you’re sitting back watching the kids play, don’t forget to take this issue of WestCoast Families with you for a great read. Happy summer!

A big THANK YOU to these new distribution locations for carrying WestCoast Families magazine for their customers and visitors: Ella & Elliot Baby Design, West Hastings, Vancouver Pet Shop Boys, Cambie Street, Vancouver Toys and Tech, 56th Street, Tsawwassen Shanti Yoga, 56th Street, Tsawwassen 6 Pack Beach, Mitchell Road, Richmond Creekside Community Centre, Athletes Way, Vancouver Go to to see a full list of distribution locations. We appreciate all the businesses and organizations who provide WestCoast Families to their customers and guests. Also check out our website to view the full version of WestCoast Families with live web-links to all our advertisers.


online @


Visit to view our magazine online anytime. And check back often for: • upcoming events • local links • contests • blog posts • valuable resource listings • and more! • new articles

families westcoast Managing Editor Andrea Vance Editor Stephanie MacDonald Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso Administration Jennifer Bruyns Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule Advertising 604.249.2866 Published by National Families Network Publisher: Andrea Vance For distribution inquiries, please email For submissions to our community calendars, please email To share your feedback, please email Contributors Stephanie MacDonald, Andrea Vance, Jodi Iverson, Peg Keenleyside, Jennifer Bruyns, Stephen Neufeld WestCoast Families is an independent, regional parenting publication. Published nine times per year in British Columbia, Canada. Total circulation: 50,000. All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families For editorial submissions queries, please view the guidelines on our website. Mailing address: 1215-C56 St. Box 18057 Delta, BC V4L 2M4 T 604 249 2866 | F 604 676 2802

WestCoast Families is proud to have been selected as a mom-friendly employer for the 2010 Progressive Employers of Canada List. And congratulations to our fellow inductees!


Visit us online for new contests every issue!

Win a Piggyback Rider Kid Carrier The Piggyback Rider® kid carrier is a mutually enjoyable, almost effortless way to carry your kid on your back, beginning at about 2-and-a-half years old up to seven years old. Replacing bulky backpack carriers and strollers, this carrier uses a shoulder-mounted foot-bar to distribute the child’s weight at your core, enabling a natural upright walking posture. The child stands firmly on the wide foot-bar, holding integrated grab handles and secured by a safety tether. Children love the height advantage, rest, and most of all the quality time with their parents. You free your hands and can walk farther in comfort. Portable, lightweight and simple, the Piggyback Rider® kid carrier backpack is for every adventure in any season, revolutionizing child carriers by bonding parents and children in active transport. Value: $84.99

Win Will Stroet’s New DVD Along With Three Music Cds Will Stroet, an award-winning bilingual children’s musician and educator, connects with kids through high-energy, interactive and educational music in English and French. Often described as a bilingual rock concert for kids, audiences take part in fun actions and sing-along choruses. Will sings original songs about literacy, animals, sports, road safety and multiculturalism, transforming ordinary topics into an extraordinary musical experience.

Enter at

After releasing his first CD in 2005, “Let’s All Dance,” and receiving great reviews from kids, parents, teachers and event organizers, Will knew he had found his calling. Since then, Will has recorded two more CDs in English and three in French. Value: $60.00

Deadline to Enter: August 31, 2012

Enter at Deadline to Enter: August 31, 2012

families westcoast

is excited for the return of the 4th annual

readers choiceawards

Enter for your chance to WIN the ULTIMATE FAMILY PASS to major attractions throughout the Lower Mainland! The Ultimate Family Pass includes: • Playland • Watermania & Minoru Aquatics • Science World readers • Capilano Suspension Bridge choice 2012 • Maplewood Farms • Fort Langley Historical Park • Vancouver Art Gallery • And more! Many other family prizes to be won too! Go online to for full details on all prizes and to cast your votes.

July/August 2012


westcoast finds

Precious App Protection Camera Chic You are on your way to London and Paris – why on earth does your camera look like it’s going to a tacky tourist party or a techie convention? Make sure you and your treasured photography equipment are going in the same stylish direction with THEIT camera bag. Sophisticated and tasteful, these undercover camera carriers mean chic photographers no longer have to sacrifice fashion for functionality.

$159.00 on

Frost-Free Fingers

Yo u r s w e e t l i t t l e toddler is just trying to play Angry Birds in a restaurant and ends up with Angry Parents after an accidental $200 phone call to Australia – and where did all Mommy’s contacts go? Enter BubCaps from the clever folks at Paperclip Robot. Protecting your home button from little fingers means kids can still be entertained while on-thego, but information and apps on your SmartPhone, tablet, or iPod are still safe and accessible to grown-ups with a firmer press of the button.

From $5.99 on

As a lesson about moderation concerning treat consumption, ice cream headaches are an integral part of childhood. Icy fingers confer no such benefit, so save your kids from frigid digits with the IceHuggy. Made from an absorbent fabric which can fold to fit all manner of frozen delectables, the IceHuggy soaks up dribbles as it protects little hands.

$6.99 for two on

editor’s pick

Sleep is No Longer just a Fantasy Although you may view your kids as mini human alarm clocks – reliably set for “way-tooearly-o’clock” every morning of your life – believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be this way. Win some extra sleep by enlisting Oyaco’s Gro Clock for your little early birds. With a cute “wake-up time!” sun and “please, please, stay in bed!” star, kids can tell when it’s still bed-time and when it’s actually a decent hour to greet the day.

$50.00. Available at Room for 2 Maternity and Baby, Lusso Baby, and KidzOwn Boutiques, and online from


for the designer in you... Boon’s Glo Nightlight Dar k ness wouldn’t be so scary if it wasn’t for all those childrendevouring monsters lurking in it. Therefore, kids will adore the obviously monsterrepellent, futuristic Boon’s Glo Nightlight. With removable, unbreakable glowing balls that never warm up, your kids can play catch in the dark or light their undercover hideaway, until the glow fades after 30 minutes. Perfect for keeping the creeps at bay until sweet dreams set in.

Rosy Designs Prints Though your canopy bed was awesome in the 70s, your room could definitely have done without the matching Holly Hobby patchwork bedspread and wallpaper and those pictures of enormous-eyed, forlorn, tutu-wearing children holding puppies. Brighten your kids’ walls with some uplifting art prints by Vancouver artist Rosy Hung from Rosy Designs. ‘Super High Five – Girls’, ‘Hugs’, ‘Love Songs – Stereo Boy’… all charming, colourful, modern, and guaranteed not to cause depression or vertigo.

$19 at

$89 at Hip Baby

Urban Walls Who says a coolly-designed room has to be all girly? Though Urban Wall Decals has some adorable designs for nurseries and very pretty designs that little girls will swoon for (see: “Girly Girl Tree“), designer (and mum to two boys) Danielle Hardy provides many more sporty and industrial alternatives for little guys and tomboys alike. Loves his/her snowboard? Check out “Born to Ride”. Into karate, hockey or helicopters? Urban walls has got you covered. Whether it’s baseball or birdies, let your little one decorate their walls with whatever they love.

From $49 at Hip Baby stores and at

Inspiring Illumination Why should patios hog all the cool lighting options? With My Little Lights you can turn any room into a festive, peaceful, or playful enclave. 100% handmade from organic cotton and real flowers, these three-metre-long strings can brighten up any space in your place, as a garland, in a row or even in piles along the floor or hung in groups from the ceiling. For dramatic party or wedding or décor, you can also rent for your big event.

$45 at

July/August 2012



Washington State Family Road Trip


Photos and text by Jodi Iverson

ith summer now officially underway, most of us have firmed up our vacation plans, but if you haven’t you may be considering the modern family’s last minute vacation option: THE ROAD TRIP!

When I was a kid, family vacation always meant road trip. A family of four happily piled into the Monte Carlo, windows down, with lap belts on and music blaring. I can still remember the smell of the hot upholstery and see the invisible line dividing the back seat that my sister dare not cross! Now that we have moved from the back seat to the front, the Mr. and I have made road trips a part of our family tradition. Now, it is important to distinguish the differences between Long Drive and his super fun cousin Road Trip. Long Drive wants to get there; Road Trip’s lack of a timeline is liberating and makes the voyage the adventure! Long Drive is, well, long; Road Trip demands spontaneous stops! Long Drive is stuffy and boring; Road Trip has his own sound track, and we all sing along! We have no GPS, just a minivan and a dream! It was with this enthusiasm we set off on our most recent road trip, a visit to our American neighbor, Washington State. Packing the van is the Mr.’s job and he packed all of our suitcases, laptops, games, and toys like a Tetris champ the night before departure so we could get an early start. Could get being the notable phrase here. We ended up leaving just in time to hit Seattle’s famous traffic and enjoyed about an hour of stop-and-go. This prompted multiple games of eye spy, a playlist of sing-alongs, several bottles of water, and finally, the iPad. Note to self, 2pm - 6pm in Seattle…no. Our first destination was Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, about 4 hours south (without Seattle traffic) of Vancouver. GWL is a terrific option for families; offering a plethora of activities to suit all ages. The indoor waterpark is the main draw, and it delivered! From the 1000 gallon bucket of water that dumps off the top of the treehouse-styled Fort Mackenzie to the thrilling Howlin’ Tornado slide, a six-story funnel that sends up to four people swooping 30 feet up the


When it comes time to reconnect with your family sometimes taking the long way is the shortest route.

walls. There is a snack bar and a lounge serving beer, wine and frozen drinks in the waterpark which were appreciated after a long drive…I mean road trip! Another big draw is the Magi Quest Adventure, where, with the purchase of a magic wand, you embark on a treasure hunt throughout the resort. Our whole family got in on this one and had tons of fun (and exercise!) running between the first six floors of the lodge solving puzzles, enchanting objects, meeting pixies, a wizard, and battling a dragon! The lodge also offers familystyle dining, an arcade, an ice cream themed kid’s spa, and a space for teens, featuring computer access and video games in a supervised setting. A couple nights at the Lodge were plenty for us and we were ready for phase 2 of our adventure: Seattle. A short hour-and-a-half drive (no traffic this time) and we arrived at our hotel, the beautiful Seattle Marriott Waterfront. We pulled in to find valet only parking at $36.00 USD per day. This is the norm in Seattle, if you are driving, be prepared. We chose the Marriott because of its close proximity to Pike Place Market, downtown and the Space Needle, but the indoor/outdoor connected pool made the stay! After a glorious sleep on the Marriott’s famously comfy beds we were ready for a visit to the world-renowned Woodland Park Zoo. I grabbed one of the

illustrated maps from the front desk on the way out, noted the Woodland Park Zoo’s illustration was an arrow pointing vaguely off the top corner of the map, tipped our valet as he swung the minivan around and we were on our way. Turns out the vague arrow wasn’t a turn by turn navigation app and we ended up on a lovely drive around Green Lake Park, a beautiful park featuring a natural lake set in a dense urban area. After a couple laps of the park and a stop at a local convenience store to purchase a city map, we arrived at the zoo. We spent a lazy afternoon seeing some amazing animals in beautiful habitats. The layout is terrific with lots of trees and flora providing natural shade, making it easy to spend the whole day enjoying the animals. Lunch at the Pacific Blue Chowder House Restaurant featured meals made with sustainable farm and fisheries products. We finished the visit off with a ride on the beautifully restored vintage carousel and a visit to the zoo shop for a snow leopard mask. Our final day in Seattle we visited the Space Needle. After once again valet parking, we boarded the elevator and traveled the 520 feet to the observation deck. The Space Needle was built as a centerpiece to the 1962 World’s Fair and now, 50 years later, is still Seattle’s number one tourist destination and it is easy to see why! The view is breathtaking, literally, on a windy day, and the interior of the observation deck is filled with engaging high tech, interactive displays and World Fair memorabilia. As we headed north, I sat back listening to the kids chatter and I couldn’t help thinking how with today’s busy lifestyle it is more important than ever to remember to enjoy getting lost together. When it comes time to reconnect with your family sometimes taking the long way is the shortest route. July/August 2012


Discover family fun in the

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Region! Written by Crystal Solberg This summer is the perfect time to embark on exciting family adventures in the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Region. Encompassing the four unique destination areas of Metro Vancouver, Sea to Sky Country, Mighty Fraser Country and the Sunshine Coast, there are plenty of great activities in the region that the whole family will enjoy! Located in Sea to Sky Country, Whistler has no shortage of kid-friendly activities. At the Family

Kayaking near Whistler, Photo by Bob Young

Adventure Zone located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain kids can test out the bungy trampolines, go on a pony ride, play in the balloon castle and

Harrison Hot Sp rings, Photo by Bob Young

drive the Hot Wheelz go karts.


Children and adults alike will also love cruising around the Whistler Mountain Bike Park which has trails suitable for all levels of ability. For a different perspective of the beautiful mountain scenery there are also some great waterways around Whistler that are perfect for canoeing and kayaking. When it’s time to unwind at the end of the day, head to Legends by Lodging Ovations in Whistler Creekside to relax on your private balcony. Legends features a large number of two and three bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens and in-suite laundry, making it the perfect family retreat. There’s even a children’s game room on site! Harrison Hot Springs is another great place for a family getaway, located in Mighty Fraser Country. The community is nestled against the sandy beaches of Harrison Lake which makes it ideal for those who love the water. Head out on a Banana Tube Ride or rent a Sea-Doo for the afternoon if you’re looking for a bit of adventure! You can also go on an eco-tour where you can explore the lake by boat and check out the local wildlife or even try your hand at fishing. At the end of the day you can relax at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa which has five different hot spring fed pools for you to soak in while the kids play. For more ideas visit the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains blog at to find insider travel tips, upcoming events and our favourite things to see and do in the region!



a t e w r h s f un e r 5

Go Jump in a Lake!


3 2 10


9 13


Being a coastal city, Vancouver is home to many famously spectacular marine beaches; Kits, Wreck, English Bay, Sunset, Ambleside, Jericho and Spanish Banks, just to name a few. While these iconic beaches have lots to offer, for those who have seen “Jaws” one too many times, are from Ontario, or who just really like to swim hypothermia-free, there’s just nothing like a refreshing dip in a (preferably warm) lake. We’ve compiled the best outdoor freshwater swimming holes near Vancouver, including some that may require a little hiking for those who like to reward their exercise with a splash at the end.

11 Hike In 4 For the more intrepid lake seekers, follow the trail

that leads from the downhill parking lot at Cypress Provincial Park to the top of the Black Mountain chair. A wellmarked path then meanders through the forest for a couple of kilometres to Cabin Lake. For those in the know, Cabin Lake is a popular swimming destination, and you should be aware: a few people prefer birthday suits to bathing attire here. There are no facilities, but this little gem is away from the madding crowd and has amazing views of Howe Sound and the Sunshine Coast: well worth the effort. Lost Lake in West Vancouver is a tiny jewel hidden on Hollyburn Mountain. To get there you take the beautiful, two-hour long Brothers Creek Trail. There’s no beach to speak of, but the shrubby shoreline offers many places to dive in to these warm placid waters. After your trek to get there it may seem like the most inviting oasis ever.

No Hike The only swimming lake within Vancouver’s borders, Trout Lake sits in the middle of John Hendry Park in East Van. What can we say about Trout Lake? Well… the park is lovely, with many places to grill, play, jog, and picnic, and the concession stand sells gourmet, healthy fare along with fair trade coffee. But…the beach was closed to swimming and wading all last year due to contaminated water. But! As of May 2012 it was squeaking in under the limits, so be sure to check the GVRD website before you go frolic:



Located near Port Moody, Sasamat Lake is small, warm, and possibly the closest swimming lake to the city (besides the dubious Trout Lake). A 45-minute drive from Vancouver, The lake boasts many attractions including walking trails, White Pine Beach with a concession stand, and much more. In the summer, Sasamat Lake can become very crowded so come early (and check water quality bulletins here, too). For families with older kids, there is a cool floating bridge at the far end of the lake with several concrete docks where you can dive right in or set up your chairs to bask.


Buntzen Lake lies just north of Port Moody, very close to Sasamat. Man-made and maintained by BC Hydro, Buntzen is nevertheless by far the more scenic of the two lakes. The Buntzen area is full of forests to hike or cool off in, nice beach areas, and beautiful spots to picnic. The water can get warm, and the lake is gorgeous to swim in. There is no concession, and like Sasamat, the parking lot gets very full in the summer so remember to leave early for this one, because once the full parking lot is closed, it doesn’t open again until 4pm.



Outdoor Pools Kits Pool – the king of Vancouver outdoor pools. Canada’s longest pool, and its only heated saltwater. 2305 Cornwall Avenue, Vancouver


Second Beach Pool – this Stanley Park pool has beautiful views of the ocean and North Shore and is great for kids. Second Beach, Stanley Park Drive


Maple Grove Pool – crazy-busy most sunny days, but a wonderful splashy-wadey place for kids, and a nice grassy area within pool boundaries for blankets and picnics. 6875 Yew Street, Vancouver


New Brighton Pool – a hidden treasure in East Van overlooking the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and the Port. Great for adults too, who can enjoy free-form 25-metre lanes. North Windermere Street, near New Brighton Park, Vancouver


Hillcrest Aquatic Centre – includes an outdoor pool with water sprays and bubble jets in addition to indoor facilities for those iffy-weather days. 4575 Clancy Loranger Way, Vancouver


July/August 2012 15


festivals fun events & fantastic attractions

Summer has finally arrived! The kids are out of school and it’s time to pack the next eight weeks with summer adventures and get in as much memory-making holiday fun as you can. Whether you’re planning to head out for some family camping time, have a beach place booked or are just looking for some week day get-away ideas to do with the kids in the next couple of months, here’s some of the many summer festivals, events and attractions around BC to check out: by Peg Keenleyside

VANCOUVER ISLAND & THE GULF ISLANDS Heading to the Islands this summer? Nothing beats jumping on the ferry and heading out for some island ‘away-time’. Add some local festival and attractions fun to your holiday mix with these possibilities...

Chemainus Theatre Festival Chemainus | June 15 to September 1 For the kids, it’s Animal Tales playing July 20 - August 25, and for the whole family, check out Andrew Lloyd Webber’s toe-tapping musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, playing June 15-September 1. Kids 4-12 ticket prices are ½ price. Order from the Festival website.

BC Forest Discovery Centre Duncan | Open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Explore BC’s logging heritage at the logging camp reenactment, take a ride on a steam locomotive and enjoy the sights in the beautiful rural Cowichan Valley with a visit to this attraction located off Highway #1 in Duncan.

Hornby Island Festival Hornby Island | August 2 to11 Named one of the top 5 festivals in Canada, this famed 10 day-long event features a virtual smorgasbord of the arts: music, dance, theatre, kid’s programming and more; all set against the outdoor backdrop of one of the most stunning and ‘get-away-from-it-all’ of the Gulf Islands.

Parksville Beach Festival Sandscuplting Competition Parksville | July 14 and 15

Vancouver Island MusicFest Courtney | July 6 to 8th

A short drive north of Nanaimo, the long stretch of white sand beach at the foot of the village of Parksville, is home to the not-tobe-missed Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition.

Roots and World Music take center stage at this popular outdoor festival held on the rural Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds about an hour’s drive north of Nanaimo. Featuring 6 stages of entertainment, riverside camping and family-friendly kid zone activities.

Symphony Splash

Salt Spring Island Saturday Market

Wild Play West Shore

Victoria Inner Harbour | Aug. 5 p.m.

Ganges | Saturdays, July- Labour Day weekend

Victoria | Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour is transformed into an outdoor concert stage for this spectacular annual open-air musical event featuring the Victoria Symphony. A dedicated kid zone offers plenty of pint-sized things to do throughout the day.

Explore just some of the arts, culture and culinary wonders of the Gulf Islands with a visit to Salt Spring Island’s Saturday Market in the village of Ganges, featuring over 150 vendors. Take the bikes, relax, unwind and savour the slower rhythm of island life with the whole family.

Featuring a combination of Tarzan swings, zip lines, scramble nets and swinging logs, Wild Play Elements Parks offer aerial adventure and interactive activities for the whole family in a natural, outdoor environment. Ticket reservations are recommended.


THE OKANAGAN From the border town of Osoyoos all the way up the long inland lake to the city of Vernon, the BC Okanagan brims with summertime cultural activities and attractions to explore and enjoy.

KAMLOOPS If you’re headed up to the Kamloops area of the Thompson River tourism region this summer, there’s plenty of family-friendly events to take in!

Penticton Peach Festival

Center of Gravity

Penticton | August 8 to 12

Kelowna | August 3 to 5

Since 1947, this 5-day Festival has been an annual family tradition for Penticton summer vacationers and locals alike. Take in the parade, sandcastle competition and the family-friendly amusement park. Free outdoor music events everyday.

This 3-day beach festival on the shores of Lake Okanagan in Kelowna features 3 stages of music, and professional athletes competing in Beach Volleyball, Basketball, Freestyle Mountain Biking, Wakeboarding and FMX events.

Caravan Farm Theatre

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre

Armstrong | July 24 to August 26

Osoyoos | Daily 9:30 a.m to 8:00 p.m. until August 31

The famed Caravan theatre company stages its nightly outdoor summer performances on an 80-acre farm. This year’s show is The Notorious Right Robert and His Robber Bride, capturing the spirit of old BC with a musicfilled tale of a young woman who falls for a charming bank-robbing outlaw.

This new, state-of-the-art Interpretive Centre, located at the Nk’Mip First Nation Resort & Winery, has both indoor and outdoor exhibit galleries, multi-media theatres and provides a fun hands-on interactive learning environment about the natural history and first peoples heritage in the southern Okanagan.

Kamloops Highland Games

Cirque de Soleil’s QUIDAM!

Kamloops | July 14

Kamloops | August 15 -19

The long-running annual Scottish cultural heritage festival features award-winning pipe and drumming groups, highland dancing and traditional athletic competitions.

From ‘The Cirque’s’ world touring repertoire comes the tale of a young girl’s journey into the magical dream world of Quidam! Call the Ticketmaster, Interior Savings Centre BoxOffice, at 1-855-985-5000 or order online.

LOWER MAINLAND & THE SUNSHINE COAST Can’t get out of town for a holiday in July and August? Only have a day to get away? No worries! There are tons of fun weekend and day-trip attractions in and around Vancouver.

Harrison Festival of the Arts

BC Renaissance Festival

Sea Cavalcade

Harrison Lake | July 7-15

Thunderbird Show Park, Langley | July 19 - 22

Gibsons/Sunshine Coast | July 28 and 29

This week-long arts & music festival is held on the shores of beautiful Harrison Lake at the far end of the Fraser Valley, making it a great day-trip out from Vancouver. A dedicated Children’s Day on July 13 includes entertainers, music, crafts and physical fun.

If you’ve never been to a Renaissance Festival, get ready for some serious dress-up revelry and play-acting fun celebrating the age of dashing knights, seafaring pirates and damsels in distress. Tickets are $10 - $45.

This weekend-long family-friendly celebration in the picturesque seaside town of Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast is just a 40-minute ferry ride away from Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay. Events include the famous annual parade, pancake breakfast, salmon BBQ, a street party, live theatre and a fireworks display.

Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival

Indian Summer Festival

Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival

Whistler | August 10-19

Vancouver | July 5-15

Vancouver | August 25

Showcasing some of the world’s best riders and featuring some of the wickedest gravityfuelled mountain biking competition around, parent word-of-mouth says this is one of the best festivals in BC for kids and teens.

The 2nd annual Indian Summer Festival was founded in 2011 during the official ‘Year of India in Canada’ and Vancouver’s 125th anniversary. Showcases top talent from South Asia – across music, dance, literature, film, visual arts, cuisine, yoga and wellness.

A grassroots slam-inspired showcase of performance and literary work. Presented by famed local slam artists Barbara Adler and Fang, who have made a successful go of combining poetry with music. Featuring such literary greats as Joe Rosenblatt, Dennis E. Bolen, Daniela Elza and Heather Haley, just to name a few. Free, families welcome.

Visit for complete listings!

July/August July/August2012 2012 1717

be free!

$ $

To celebrate the carousel’s 100th year, the City of Burnaby is offering free admission from May 5-Sept 3 2012 for all visitors to the Burnaby Village Museum. Carousel rides on the historic masterpiece are $2.30 and worth every penny. Grab some nighttime snacks & head to an outdoor movie with the whole family. Go to listings for a complete listing of outdoor movies around the Lower Mainland this summer. Most movies start at dusk, so this is a great option for older kids to spend some time with mom & dad.


The Lower Mainland has lots to offer this summer, and so many great things to do that don’t cost you a penny. Pack a picnic and a refillable water bottle, and enjoy these fun and free family activities.

$ $ $ $ $

This lesser known Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is completely free, and filled with magical trails, waterfalls, mini hikes, and a swimming hole too. Enjoy free jazz, rhythm and blues concerts every Sunday at 2pm at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody. Each week is a new performer and genre so you can make this a weekly event for your family all summer long, and still be home in time for dinner. The Night Markets have become a staple in the Greater Vancouver over the past few years. Take in the sights & sounds, and be sure to go there hungry so you can enjoy the amazing variety of food offered by vendors. Summer Night Market - 12631 Vulcan Way, Richmond Richmond Night Market - 8351 River Road, Richmond Chinatown Night Market – Keefer & Main St., Vancouver Listen to the sounds of the Symphony in the Park, located in Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, on Sunday, July 15. An annual free concert open to everyone, in one of our area’s most beautiful outdoor concert venues. You may be able to watch the Olympic games on TV from London, but you can watch our own local athletes in action right here. The 2012 BC Summer Games run July 19-22 in Surrey. All sports & ceremonies are free and open to the public.

family real estate & design Parents in the Lower Mainland are always on the lookout for the best home base for their family, and while there are many considerations, price is always top on the list. As part of our Family Real Estate feature, we decided to bring you a summary of housing prices from the various cities, towns, and districts in this great area we call home. Some of these results may surprise you, good or bad!

Vancouver West Side $2,248,300 $710,000 $488,500

North Vancouver

$1,948,200 ----$649,500

$1,019,100 $509,200 $351,400

Burnaby Ladner $655,600 $458,400 $318,800

Bowen Island $625,500 ---------


$983,700 $602,100 $352,400

Tsawwassen $738,900 $476,100 $399,700

West Vancouver


Maple Ridge $465,800 $275,200 $181,100 Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

$544,800 $295,000 $210,000

$767,400 $421,000 $368,300

New West $687,300 $397,500 $274,600

Surrey Central


$559,600 $309,500 $201,700

$862,000 $519,000 $310,700

East Side

• Detached Home • Townhouse • Apartment July/August 2012 19


make it work, keep it real

We’re bringing you the best on the web for real estate & design. Whether you’re planning or dreaming, these websites could keep you busy for hours!

Real Estate resources

Design resources A Canadian website which has been named several times as a top design blog. There is an online marketplace of handmade and vintage goods from around the world, direct links to fantastic online home & clothing design shops, and beautiful photos to inspire. From the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, this is a great resource for both homebuyers and sellers. Do an online property search or check for open houses in your area. This site also provides information on finding a realtor, and listing and marketing your own property. Search for upcoming open houses in any area in the Lower Mainland or across Canada. Also includes a blog with advice & resources on real estate. Browse real estate, real estate agents, or new developments by area. Also includes online mortgage calculator and real estate news. Search residential, commercial, or international properties by area and other advanced criteria. Includes property for sale across Canada. This site allows you to compare selected properties, and mark your favourites. Housing & economic information for buyers and sellers. Information on working with realtors, including their code of ethics & standards. Also includes HST/PST resources, and updated news on the real estate market and industry. Listing of new construction homes all over Canada. This site is Wiki-Powered, so project listings may be edited by anyone and you can communicate directly with the project, developer, or contributor. Visitors to this website can also follow projects & conversations to receive updates of interest. Mortgage rate comparison charts, allowing visitors to compare terms & conditions. Mortgage information, and detailed mortgage calculators too.

20 One of the most original sites we found! This site is all about modifying and repurposing Ikea products. Contributors from around the globe submit their creations & ideas. You may laugh at some, and be inspired by others. Browse this amazing design inspiration website by style, space, or location. You can even type in key words like “outdoor family deck ideas” and the results will astound you. There are also discussion boards, articles, resources, product reviews, and more. Get ready to spend a few hours here. This site is all about being inspired, Canadian style. Modern Karibou, an online Canadian store that provides fantastic designs & styles from around the world, produces the blog. Expect to see contests, great ideas and photography, and good stories too. An online design & architecture exhibition with lots of great photos, online catalogues from manufacturers, design news, and much more. Think of this site as a design show, online. You can look at products by category, or search products for something specific. View photo galleries of homes for sale, recently sold, new home developments., and recreational properties. You can also read many articles on new design trends, hot products, and kitchen or outdoor ideas. If you want to dream a little, this is the website to see for “The Most Beautiful Things on Earth”. Spotlights on top designers and their recent projects, plus true vintage and classic pieces available for sale around the world. Fine art, real estate, and architecture are also featured.

family real estate & design

Downsizing for Seniors


opefully the day is far off, but the time will come eventually when we are faced with elderly parents who are in need of assistance with their daily life. Fortunately, there are experts like Re/Max realtor Eugene Knoedler, who specializes in the issues senior citizens and their families face when deciding to downsize, renovate or relocate to a more accessible and suitable home. “It’s a huge issue, as Baby Boomers are aging, we are going to see a wave of people needing different levels of care,” he explains, “and there are bound to be shortages of assisted living-type residences. There are beginning to be shortages even now.” So it’s a good idea to plan ahead and speak with your relatives about what kind of lifestyle they want in the future. “Possibly the best option is what we call ‘aging in place,’ where seniors are able to adapt their own homes to fit their changing needs. I think the most prominent piece of information that people don’t know is that the Government of Canada has programs to help fund the types of modifications that allow people to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.”

The Home Adaptation for Seniors Independence (HASI) program is funded through the CMHC, and offers a forgivable loan of up to $3,500 for eligible seniors to renovate. Other options for seniors depend on the level of care they require and go from independent living in active adult communities, to in-home care, to assisted living facilities, to continuing care facilities to nursing homes. Another attractive option for some families can also be subsidized by the CMHC through the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) Secondary/ Garden Suite, which “offers financial assistance for the creation of a Secondary or Garden Suite for a low-income senior or adult with a disability — making it possible for them to live independently in their community, close to family and friends,” according to the CMHC website. This initiative can help with building cost up to $24,000, and includes the creation of a legal “in-law suite” with separate entrance and utilities, as well as a “garden suite,” separate from the main dwelling but on the same property, as in a laneway house. This variety of options can make a difficult decision much easier, and it’s never too early to begin to open up a dialogue about future plans in this regard. Visit for more informationm or contact Eugene Knoedler, Senior Real Estate Specialist at Re/Max Progroup Realty at 604-219-3177 or

July/August 2012 21

i’m raising my family...

with another family By Stephen Neufeld | Photos by Jonny Sopotiuk


hree years ago my partner Emily and I found ourselves in Ethiopia. We were at the end of a gruelling adoption process, waiting anxiously for Canadian visas while learning to parent out of a suitcase. Only the support and friendship of Kevin and Leah, another adoptive couple, got us through. Our sons came from the same orphanage and had been crib mates, then roommates, ever since they were a few weeks old. Because we lived in different provinces, we vowed to get together twice a year to stay in touch and let the boys be together. When grad school brought us to Vancouver, we were thrilled that we would all live in the same city. Kevin and Leah suggested finding a place that we could all rent together, and we immediately scoured the city for a house that would work. It took much net-surfing and a lot of driving around, but we finally found a “Vancouver Special” in North Vancouver with two separate but connected suites. When we moved in, the boys immediately started calling each other “brother”. We had been waiting for this. We knew it would be important to make expectations clear from the start, so one of the first things we did was decide how to divide all the costs and work involved in running our new home. In our case, Kevin and Leah are the official renters and we pay our share of the rent and utilities to them. As for the yard, Emily and I took on most of the gardening duties, while Kevin and Leah see to the lawn. Because Emily and I love to cook, we volunteered to prepare dinner for both families on most nights, splitting the cost of groceries (we keep a white board going that tracks who owes whom, and for what; generally, we square up when we pay rent). In exchange, Leah and Kevin clean the kitchen and bathroom. This is probably our favourite part of the arrangement because our nightly family meal is where we all connect. We share a lot of things in our house – not just appliances, tools and an internet connection. When a baby cries in the middle of the night (did I mention that Kevin and Leah now have twin baby girls?) we all hear it, even if non-lactating family members aren’t required to respond. When someone catches a cold, most of us wind up with it. Living together encourages us to practice the skill of considering others. We depend on each other for meals, child care, enough quiet to keep the babies asleep, and sometimes that silent presence upstairs that keeps us calm when our son decides to do gymnastics on the bathroom towel bar. For us, the fun of living together far outweighs the work involved. We might have to sit through dinner with two screaming babies plus two relentlessly talkative four-year-olds, but


loneliness is not a problem. We might put a little extra effort into organizing our household, but we have saved thousands in rent and groceries. When I think about life with Kevin and Leah this past year, this is what comes to mind: our boys learning to ride two-wheelers side by side; placing dinner on the table to a chorus of thanksgiving, holding hands and singing of blessings, followed by hearing about the best and worst parts of everyone’s day (a nightly tradition of ours); building a chicken coop together before taking the boys to pick out their own chicks; and leaving the house for the evening, only needing to say, “Hey guys, can you listen for our kid?”. Sharing a home with another family is probably more do-able than you think. If you can choose your “partners in community” wisely, set out clear expectations of each family member, and create an atmosphere in which it is okay to discuss issues, then you are ready to share a house with another family. If you can all appreciate the humour in your kid sneezing with his mouth full and spraying half-chewed risotto directly into your mouth from across the table, even better; you are probably ready for anything.

wcf news >> New Breast Cancer Clinic at BC Women’s A new breast health program in BC will help women reduce their risk of getting breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Prevention & Risk Assessment Clinic now offers group counselling sessions to assess women’s breast cancer risk. The clinic is a project of the CCS-UBC Cancer Prevention Centre. Primary funding for the clinic is provided by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region, and the clinic is located at BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre.

>> Free Swims from Westminster Savings! To help build strong communities that are healthier and more inclusive places to live, Project Better Balance offers a series of free swims, all year long, courtesy of Westminster Savings, in the communities of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster and Surrey. Why? They know that providing opportunities for active living can have a long-term, life-changing impact and set the foundation for future success and healthy habits. So… take the plunge into fitness at a community recreation centre near you. It’s the perfect way to unwind, connect with others in the community and build some recreation time into your routine. With regular free swims, it’s an event the whole family will look forward to! Find out participating pools at

Many women believe that heredity is the most important factor in developing breast cancer. However, forty percent of all breast cancers are caused by lifestyle factors. The Breast Cancer Prevention & Risk Assessment Clinic will help women improve their breast cancer risk profile by focussing on healthy lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, increasing physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and limiting alcohol consumption.


The clinic is open to women who are at increased risk, or are worried about their risk, of breast cancer, offering group counselling sessions that include risk assessment questionnaires, lifestyle counselling, referral to community resources, follow-up questionnaire, and physician reports. Located on the BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre site, the clinic will operate two afternoons each week. To attend the group session, call 604-603-5140, or email info. More information about the clinic is available online at:

Green Circle Salons is a new company with a mission to provide green solutions to the salon and spa industry. Started in Toronto, this innovative new directory is moving soon across Canada to Vancouver, with the belief that small steps to transform each salon or spa, with the help of customers and employees, over time, will make that green conversion possible and sustainable. Their directory offers an easy to use, at your fingertips way to connect you with green-minded salons and spas. As a new client, you can receive special incentives and promotions at participating salons. Look for the green banner and get informed about specific promotions and savings opportunities, or find out where your salon or spa stands on their green pathway for change.

>> Green Circle Salon Program

>> Pop-Up Parks Coming to Surrey Come and PARKit! at Surrey’s pop-up parks in the heart of Surrey City Centre. Asphalt parking space will be converted into a green, urban mini-park. The PARKit! Initiative aims to re-invent public spaces by transforming car spaces into people places. The temporary pop-up parks include Astroturf covered platforms and furniture, a grassy area, plants, a deck area, and a place for buskers, entertainment & food cart vendors. For the next pop-up park location, visit

July/August 2012 23

mom westcoast

Adventure Intervention By Stephanie MacDonald

Larissa Says “I do” to a Well-Deserved Day of Adventure!


rom raising two children in a single bound, to taming the wildest bridezillas with picture-perfect planning, to flying to the heights of friendship and community with her warmth and generosity, Larissa is the superwoman that does it all – seemingly without getting a hair out of place. But it was becoming clear to her close friend Mandy Anderson that even heroes need to have some time to let loose and just play; to forget the routine and think about themselves for once. Unfortunately, Larissa, like most supermom/wife/smallbusiness-owners/friends, has a busy, busy schedule and a powerful sense of duty; but have no fear– there’s a WildPlay Element Park Adventure Intervention to the rescue! When Mandy saw the WildPlay Element Parks contest in WestCoast Families March issue, she immediately knew the person she was going to nominate for an Adventure Intervention. “Larissa is always the organizer,” explains Mandy, “she is incredibly busy doing everything for everyone, and I thought she deserved some fun of her own.” Larissa’s friend Susan agrees. “She does so much for other people all the time, it’s really nice to do something for her.” Because of Larissa’s demanding career as a wedding planner/decorator/florist/fire-putter-outter, Mandy worked with the WildPlay team and they came up with the theme for her intervention: “A Primal Proposal.” Enlisting Larissa’s trusty husband Scott and a handful of discreet friends, they began to plan this stealthy and challenging operation. Clear her busy schedule and replace real appointments with fake ones– done. Rooting through drawers for appropriate outdoorsy activewear–check. Engaging in complex subterfuge to keep Larissa unaware of her impending escapade–done. Now for the fun part… The scene: it’s 8:45 in the morning, and a young mother of two is dropping off her child to preschool, as usual; unaware of those hiding in the background, hoping to catch her off-guard. Nothing is out of the ordinary… except, maybe there’s a guy with a camera lurking around in the bushes. This is soon pointed out by some out-of-the-loop, concerned parents, but fortunately before the authorities are alerted, his filming subject becomes clear as Mandy, along with WildPlay’s Park Manager, Wendy, her crew, and several adventurous friends appear before the disconcerted Larissa, bearing a bouquet and a velvet ring box. On bended knee, Mandy declares,“You are an amazing woman Larissa, everything you do, you do with excellence.” After further extolling Larissa’s virtues, Mandy presents her with the ring box containing a climbing carabiner, and says, “Today my dear, I’m taking you on an adventure. Will you join me at WildPlay Element Park?”“Of course!”is the reply, and as with most normal proposals, much happiness and rejoicing ensues.

recreational areas. A navigational session starts out with some nervous women, not sure if they have what it takes to master this imposing task. But an easy test run guides participants through all the skills they’ll need to conquer the course, and confidence begins to set in. Larissa and her friends take to the trees, testing their agility, strength, and nerves, on course sections that get more fun, more tricky and more demanding as they go along. Zipping from game to game, the women swing on ropes, scramble up walls, climb suspended nets and traverse moving, wobbly bridges, boosting their self-confidence, getting an impressive workout, having a blast, and leaving behind any and all blasé everyday cares.

At the WildPlay Element Park in Maple Ridge, more of Larissa’s friends are there to join her for the Monkido Classic treetop adventure, suiting up in their harnesses and eager to get going on all the park’s suspended games and zip lines. This park hosts the Classic Monkido for adults, a Buddy Monkido for kids and their parents, and a Monkido Kids, all in a beautiful forest setting, complete with picnic and

The carefree smile on Larissa’s face halfway through the course said it all. Swinging confidently through the air, she is completely in her element – both sides of the superwoman complete! To see Larissa’s Adventure Intervention and take a virtual tour of the WildPlay Element Park in Maple Ridge, visit com/watch?v=WoAtE9sTA4k.


July/August 2012 25

Photo by Revival Arts Studio

mom westcoast

Ronnie Negus & BC Centre for Ability

By Andrea Vance


e didn’t know what to expect from Ronnie Negus before we arrived at her family home in a gated community near Lion’s Bay. This Mom who has recently become the talk of the town, greeted us with a warm welcome and an introduction to her beautiful and gracious children. Here’s what Ronnie had to say to WestCoast Families about her own reality.

Photo by Kyran

i Kanavaros

Why work with BC Centre For Ability? When Remy was born, she was asphyxiated for 17 minutes. She was on life support for 207 days, and came home on oxygen for 3 years and was tube fed for 4 years. Needless to say Children’s Hospital has been a huge part of our life. But I thought who else was there for Remy? And it was the BC Centre for Ability. When you leave the hospital where you have all these doctors and nurses and you take this vulnerable little child home on life support, and you’re a little scared. But they would come, and I remembered that. We gave our spot up at BCCFA because we could afford caregivers. But I’ll never forget that they were there. They were very instrumental and so for me to give back, and to be a voice for them and to raise awareness is where my heart is. I felt that I could use the show as a voice. I didn’t want to do the show at all. My husband is quite private and I didn’t know if I wanted to open up my heart and my home and my family for the world to see. But I thought that it could be a fabulous life experience and I felt that the universe had presented this to me. How could I do something more to feel good about it? The answer was I could give back and do this for people in need. I called the BCCFA and they remembered me. We started talking. And when they asked me (to be on the board) I was honoured. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of really interesting people and families. I’m happy to have been asked to be on the board and I’d like to give more time, but things come up when you have lots of kids.

What is your favourite way to be together as a family? I really love Sunday Family dinner. It’s that time where we all kind of gather together at the end of the week. And the other way I like is when we’re all out boating. Going to different places as a family. We also travel a lot, and we travel with our older kids too. We’re close to the older ones as well as raising the younger ones. Even Jhordan and our 17 year old and my 21-year-old stepdaughter… they all come back. The kids have their own lives and we all have our life. We have adult children that are still a constant part of who we are. Why do you think that is? Well, in some ways I’ve always wondered if it’s because I had Jhordan when I was 20 years old. I was very young. We just enjoy each other’s company. I think Russell and I are fun parents, and we’re young parents with our older kids. The older ones love the little ones, always picking up their little sisters. When they walk through the doors, the little girls are so excited to see their big brothers. But I think Charley gets a little annoyed sometimes when Jhordan will never put her down and stop kissing her. But he does it anyway! I think that as well as them being my children, they are my friends. But there’s a fine line of being a parent. I’m still Mom.


What is the biggest misconception about you from the RHOV show? I hate to keep bringing this up all the time, but people think I drink a lot. There’s 2500 hours filmed, and 5.6 hours of TV, and of course they go for the most juiciest and most dramatic. I kind of felt like it was a little unfair. Did I drink too much on the show? Probably! Is it a little embarrassing? Probably! I don’t think that anything can really affect you unless it’s true. Those are painful moments to watch on the show because you’re looking at that and going “I’m really not that person.” I’m a great mom and a good wife, and really, most of the time I’m at home cooking. And I like to garden. Family for me is everything. It is huge. Ronnie Negus appears on Season One of The Real Housewives of Vancouver and donated her proceeds to the BC Centre for Ability. The BC Centre for Ability provides community based services that enhance the quality of life for children, youth and adults with disabilities and their families in ways that facilitate and build competencies, and foster inclusion in all aspects of life. For more information on the BC Centre for Abilities and how you can help, please go to

momevents westcoast

Adult Events for the Hip Mom Around Town! The World’s #1 Elvis Tribute The ACT Arts Centre & Theatre, Maple Ridge July 6 Rock It Boy presents Darren Lee & the Memphis flash. Tickets are $28. | 604.476.2787 Ladner Village Market 48th Ave Ladner July 8, 22 & August 12, 26, 10am-4pm BC’s Favourite outdoor street market featuring artisans, fresh produce, live music, crafts and more! Free admission and runs rain or shine. Summer Writing Workshop for Moms at UBC Irving K Barber Learning Centre UBC Point Grey campus July 9-13, 10am-1pm This exciting and innovative class is aimed at moms of all ages and stages who are interested in learning how to translate their personal experiences and memories of motherhood into words. | 604.822.9564 Outdoor Flea Market Willingdon Community Centre July 14, 10am–2pm Come and shop for all sorts of bargains! 604.297.4526

The Globe and Mail Invitational Quilchena Golf and Country Club July 16, 12noon Known as one of Vancouver’s premier charity golf events, offering great golf and a first-rate social event with BBQ lunch, shotgun start and dinner & evening festivities. Registration is $350/player or $1,400/ foursome. $100 for dinner only. www.artsumbrella. com/events/fundraising/golf-tournament First Annual Converge on Main Street Main Street, Vancouver July 19th, 6-9pm Discover the best independent fashion and food in Vancity with discounts and specials at participating shops and restaurants. Shop, eat and discover Main Street. Zumba in the Park July 24, 1:30-2:15pm David Gray Park, Burnaby Grab your water bottle, slap on the SPF, and join The ZED Team as they rock out to some great music in this fun, high-energy class! All ages and levels welcome. Weather permitting. Free for everyone! 604.297.4532 Sixties Mania – The Ultimate ‘60s Experience Cascades Casino, Langley July 27 With authentic costumes, period multimedia and, of course, the music, sixties mania delivers an explosively entertaining show! Tickets are available for $25. | 604.530.2211

Gather- a Pop-up Shop 1 E Cordova Street July 27-29 It’s not just a 3 day Pop Up Shop, it’s the next frontier in urban socials with shopping, workshops and happy hour bringing everyone to-gather in style. Find 25 local designers, workshops, a flash lounge and an in motion art installation of popsicles and neon bikes. The 22nd Annual Harmony Arts Festival Along Ambleside and John Lawson Park August 3-12 Enjoy art exhibitions, Art Market, demonstrations, a unique wine & culinary experience and over 70 concerts from rock, blues and jazz, to classical and world music. Most events are free to the public. | 604.925.7268 Concerts in the Square Shipbuilders’ Square at the Shipyards (beside Lonsdale Quay) August 4, 11, 18, 25 & 26, 4-10pm Featuring contemporary recording artists, cultural performers and a display of original fine arts and works by local artisans as well as an on–site feature “Art on the Pier” that will promote fine artists, artisans, vendors and exhibitors to showcase their art, jewellery, merchandise and crafts.

Pride Parade Robson Street to Denman, follows to Beach Avenue August 5, 12noon The celebration of the summer happens at the 34th Annual Pride Parade in the heart of Vancouver’s West End. Celebrate Pride with 640,000 of your friends and family on the streets of Vancouver! The Summer Bloom Market Fort Langley Community Hall August 12 from 11am – 5pm The Market features handcrafted goods by 40 amazing artisans, live music, fresh food, and activities for the kids. This is a free public market. Quidam Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre August 29-September 2 Cirque du Soleil is pleased to announce that the critically-acclaimed production Quidam will be performing for eight performances. Tickets range from $45-$105 604.743.5027 |

July/August 2012 27

community calendar Kids Bowl for free during the summer! Various locations Ongoing until August 31 Children 15 and under can play 2 free games a day, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations.

Family Night in the Wild Vancouver Zoo July 7 & 21, August 11 & 25 This is a special evening for you and your family to experience sleeping overnight at the Zoo right next to where the night animals live! 604.856.6825 |

SummerFest Lonsdale Quay Market June 30-September 2 Running every weekend, and celebrating local talent with dance demos and lessons, concerts featuring local artists, holiday weekend festivities, and children’s activities. Concert Sundays 1-3pm

All Over the Map Granville Island July 8, 15 & 22, 1&3pm This is a summer series of free, all-ages outdoor cultural events to present exhilarating local dance and music with roots from all over the globe. 604.893.8875 |

LEGO: Myths & Muses Surrey Museum June 30, September 14 From Apollo to Zeus, explore fascinating stories from Greek mythology told with amazing LEGO creations featuring a world of gods and goddesses, heroes and monsters from ancient times. 604.592.6956 | Kits in the Park Tatlow Park (MacDonald St & 1st Ave) Every Sunny Monday & Friday from July 6-August 31, 10-11:30am Outdoor activities for families with kids from 0-5 years of age, circle time, sand toys, arts and crafts, and the playground equipment. Please note that this activity will be canceled on rainy days. 604.736.3588 |

Vancouver Folk Music Festival Jericho Beach Park July 13-15 The Vancouver Folk Music Festival announced 60 extraordinary artists and groups scheduled to perform over 3 days. Bring the whole family! 604.602.9798 | Rockin in the Park Coal Harbour Community Centre July 14, 11am-2pm Entertainment and activities including a bouncy castle, arts & craft, face painting and a balloon man. Rain or Shine! Parent participation is required. This is a free event for kids aged 0-6. Family Sports Day McInnes Field at UBC July 14, 10am-1pm Join in the fun with tons of great stations for all ages including obstacle courses, knock down the jugs, funky races, face painting and so much more! $20/family.

Mary Poppins Queen Elizabeth Theatre July 17-22 Featuring the irresistible story and unforgettable songs from one of the most popular films of all time, plus brand-new dances and stage-craft, Mary Poppins is everything you could ever want in a hit Broadway show! Summerfest -Wellbrook’s 8th Anniversary Celebration Wellbrook Winery, 4626 88th Street, Delta July 21, 10:30am-4:30pm Fun, exciting event for the entire family & Admission is free featuring a Classic Car & Motorcycle Show, Blueberry Festival & Outdoor Market. 604.946.1868 | Honeybee Festival Honeybee Centre, Surrey July 21-22, 10am - 4pm Rain or Shine Live bee beards, demos, bouncy castle, barbeque, live entertainment, artisan market, craft tent, and much more! All Free, all weekend long! 604.575.2337 | Sylvan Family Fondo Fort Langley Historic Site July 22 This is a kid-friendly, three-kilometre cycling event for children aged 6 to 12 (with parent participation). $10 per family includes a pizza party; goodie bags with sponsor prizes, medals, face painting and more. Please register online. Fitness for Kids Robson Square Plaza July 28, 10:30am - 5:30pm Promote fitness and help raise awareness on childhood obesity. This is a free event for the whole family including a 1 hour entertainment program, games, contest and important guest speakers.


Children’s Kingdom Montessori Centre Preschool & Kindergarten Register Now! September and January Enrollment Mandarin, Art & Music classes are included 4720 Elgin St. Vancouver (near Knight & 31st Ave.)

Tel : (604) 872-8898


Kids Flash Mob Granville Island July 28 10:30am Choreographed by Just for Fun Dance Party and presented by Kidtopia. Kids learn the dance moves in advance, then come & join in the flash mob. You only get to know where, when, and what if you register! $20/family

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest July 28-29 Family oriented and agriculturally educational annual festival where admission is free! Midway, Roller Derby, Bike Shot, and many other attractions. Also agricultural exhibitions like the BC Dairy classroom, sheep shearing, 4-H shows, goat show, and information on backyard farming. Entertainment includes Daryl Weyman in a Johnny Cash tribute, Robyn and Ryleigh, Todd Richard and many more. Check the website for full information and schedules. Harmony Arts Festival Various venues in West Vancouver August 3-12 Enjoy this 10 day celebration of community and art where from rock, blues and jazz, to classical and world music, there is something for everyone and all musical tastes. Please check the websites for venues 604.925.7268 | Powell Street Festival Oppenheimer Park and surrounding venues August 4-5, 11:30am-7pm This festival is a celebration of Japanese Canadian arts, culture and heritage that featuring dance, music, film and video, visual arts, martial arts demos, amateur sumo tournament, craft vendors, traditional displays, and various Japanese food. Abbotsford Air Show Abbotsford Airport August 10-12, 8am-6pm (show starts at 10am) See various types of aircraft in use and formerly used by local and foreign militaries. Please check the website for schedule and regulations.

MusicFest Vancouver Various Venues throughout Vancouver August 10-19 This Fest boasts more than 40 live music performances, spread over thirteen venues, drawn from a lineup that includes some of Canada’s and the world’s best classical, world music and jazz artists. Prospera Cinema under the Stars Fort Langley National Historic Site August 10, dusk Bring your blankets at dusk and enjoy an outdoor movie on the big screen inside Fort Langley National Historic Site! Proceeds go toward the charity “Big Brothers Big Sisters.” Tsawwassen Queen Diamond Jubilee Celebration Diefenbaker Park August 11, 5pm The event will feature all things British to honor Her Majesty’s 60 years as our Queen. Celtic bands, highland dancers, jugglers, British treats, games, activities and a visit by “Her Royal Highness” Willingdon Community Fair Willingdon Community Centre August 16, 5:30-8pm Carnival games, barbecue, displays, entertainment, raffles and more! Fun for the whole family! 604.297.4526 Kids Swap Meet Cloverdale Fairgrounds August 18, 9am–1pm Excellent opportunity to buy new & used infant to teen items with everything from maternity items, clothing, toys, video games, furniture, strollers, bikes, sports equipment and more. 604.588.9919 MusicFest Vancouver, Music in the Garden: BMO Family Day VanDusen Gardens August 19, 11am–3pm Join Charlotte Diamond and The Kerplunks for a day of music & fun. Meet The Green Man and hear a story, have your face painted, visit the Tom Lee Musical Petting Zoo, join the interactive drumming circle, and visit the craft tent. Regular garden admission applies. Children under two are free. Tickets are only available at the gate on the day of the event. |

Latin Summer Fest Trout Lake Park August 19 The hottest summer festival in Vancity is back! This is a free family event but please note- parking is limited. 604.593.2448 | Vancouver Kidney Walk Athlete’s Village Plaza, False Creek, Vancouver August 26 This year’s walk aims to raise $60,000 to fight kidney disease and for the first time ever, will include a 5km cycle ride from Athletes’ Village Plaza towards Granville Island and back. Participants can sign up to paddle the Walk in a dragonboat without previous experience aboard one of our vessels. This event is free to register and open to all to attend. Festivities and registration will begin at the Plaza stage at 10am, with the Walk Start at noon, and there will be live music, food, entertainment, a silent auction with great prizes, massages by donation, exhibitor booths. Fun for the whole family. West 49 LRN2SK8 Tour presented by Disney XD Mall parking lots and nearby Community Centres August The LRN2SK8 program will provide kids a chance to really experience skateboarding in a fully enclosed mobile skate park. This free program is designed to help youth (aged 5+) develop their confidence and skateboard skills and will provide participants with a legitimate skateboard experience in a supervised and safe area. Please register online.

Visit for more family friendly events in June! To have your event included in the WestCoast Families community calendar, please email your details to: If you’d like WestCoast Families magazine delivered to your event free of charge, please email your request to publisher@

The Children’s Party Specialists Face painting, balloon animals, arts and crafts, and more.

604-318-1261 • July/August 2012 29

last look Good Clean Fun It’s Foamtastic! By Jodi Iverson

This is a super simple (FREE!) project that is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages. Using only a few household items you can quickly create this fun and unique outdoor toy. Our testers loved trying to make the longest foam snake, letters and shapes!

materials • • • • •

Empty water bottle A square piece of towel Elastic band Scissors Dish soap

did you know? You can make your own, eco-friendly, dish soap! Just mix Castile soap, available at organic groceries and health food stores, with a little water and some lemon juice or a couple drops of essential oil!


make it! Step 1 Empty and clean water bottle then cut the bottom off with scissors. Step 2 Attach towel square to water bottle using elastic band Step 3 Dampen towel and dip in saucer of dish soap Step 4 Blow!

Snack Size contains less ! es i r o l a c 0 5 1 n a h t

At participating McDonald’s® restaurants in British Columbia. ©2012 McDonald’s

WestCoast Families July/August 2012  

The summer 2012 issue of WestCoast Families magazine features summer fun, and real estate & design for families.

WestCoast Families July/August 2012  

The summer 2012 issue of WestCoast Families magazine features summer fun, and real estate & design for families.